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Fencing for Horses

One major investment for a horse farm are installation and upkeep of fences. The fence should be safe and keep horses on the property. Fencing decisions should be based on the age of the animal, breed and temperament of the animal, production system, and situation.

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Establishing a Backyard Poultry Flock

One fast growing trend among small farms is raising poultry. Typically, poultry offers a small-scale livestock enterprise without requiring large amounts of capital, land, time or equipment. Careful planning and preparation prior to your poultry's arrival will help ensure the establishment of a healthy flock for your family's enjoyment and food production.

Biennial Thistles of Iowa

Biennial thistles are commonly found in Iowa's pastures, roadsides, CRP and other un-tilled areas.  Musk (Carduus nutans ) and bull (Cirsium vulgare) thistle are exotic species (originate from outside of North America) and are responsible for the majority of problems caused by this group of plants. Read more about identification, characteristics and removal methods.

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Sheep & Goats

Sheep and goats offer a low-cost entry for beginning livestock farmers and can be stocked at higher rates on smaller pastures than cattle. Sheep and goats provide meat, milk and fiber products, as well as brush control and pasture improvement services.

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Estimated Costs for Livestock Fencing

Fencing costs are one of the most expensive aspects of livestock grazing. The type of fence constructed greatly impacts the cost per foot, total cost, and annual ownership cost. This publication compares the costs of building a quarter-mile (1,320 feet) straight perimeter fence with four different types of permanent fencing plus temporary interior fencing.

Grass-Based Cattle

An animal is considered grass-fed, according to the USDA Grass Fed Marketing Claim Standards, when grass and forage are the “feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning.

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Utilizing Goats for Brush Control

Even the smallest timber stands or neglected pasture on an acreage can include unwanted brush. Management of the brush can be time-consuming, expensive and include chemicals which include restrictions, environmental concerns, etc. Some rural residents are utilizing a biological control method for brush – goats!

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